England will begin their World Cup campaign against Italy at the Arena Amazonia late on Saturday evening. If England are to reach the knock-out phase, they must navigate their way through Group D, which also contains Uruguay, Italy and Costa Rica.

Hodgson, speaking at his first news conference in Rio de Janeiro confirmed skipper Steven Gerrard is fit to face Italy.

He said: “I don’t really understand that one”

“Yesterday we did a training session where the players who played [against Honduras on Saturday] did a warmdown session, and I worked with the nine who didn’t take part.

“My understanding is that the other group did some extra work at the end of the session and there is absolutely nothing wrong with Steven — so I didn’t really understand that story at all.”

Arsenal’s Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered a knee injury in the warm-up game against Ecuador last week. Roy Hodgson is confident and happy with his progress.

“He did very well,” he said. “He was running, admittedly in straight lines. We will step up his training programme in the course of this week.

“There is no guarantee, but the medics are hoping that, by the second game [vs. Uruguay on June 19], he could be fit.”

England squad:

1  Joe HART Goalkeeper
2  Glen JOHNSON  Defender
3  Leighton BAINES Defender
4  Steven GERRARD  Defender
5  Gary CAHILL  Defender
6  Phil JAGIELKA Defender
7  Jack WILSHERE  Midfielder
8  Frank LAMPARD Midfielder
9  Daniel STURRIDGE  Forward
10 Wayne ROONEY  Forward
11  Danny WELBECK Forward
12  Chris SMALLING  Defender
13  Ben FOSTER  Goalkeeper
14  Jordan HENDERSON  Midfielder
15  Alex OXLADE CHAMBERLAIN Midfielder
16  Phil JONES  Defender
17  James MILNER  Midfielder
18 Rickie LAMBERT  Forward
19 Raheem STERLING Midfielder
20 Adam LALLANA  Midfielder
21 Ross BARKLEY  Midfielder
22 Fraser FORSTER  Goalkeeper
23 Luke SHAW Defender

HODGSON Roy Coach (ENG)

 

Predicted starting XI:

Raheem Sterling is expected to start in the number 10 role after impressing the England staff. Rooney will start on left with Daniel Sturrdige leading the attack. Jordan Henderson will start in the central midfield along with club teammate and skipper Steven Gerrard. Glen Johnson will keep his place in the side after few poor performances both for club and country.